The Freshman Musical is a long-standing and beloved Peddie tradition. Held as a class each fall term, it gives both experienced thespians and first-timers an opportunity to perform, with enthusiastic support from the entire student body. It was a class that set Sara Lougy ’20 on a trajectory that would define her Peddie experience.
November 11, 2016
The bright lights hit my body and I absorb them entirely, radiating the warmth as I open my mouth to sing my final note. Afterward, the director told us that people had to stand during the performance because all of the chairs in our 550-seat theater were filled. I look into the darkened theater; there is just enough light to make out clapping hands and big grins. As the curtains close, our screams echo with our pride and happiness. We cried as we realized it was over.
From Left to Right: Sara Lougy ’20, Hannah Keaton ’20, Kavya Borra ’20 and Mollie Schmidberger ’20 perform in the Freshman Musical “Legally Blonde.”
Three months earlier
The first day of classes at Peddie School. Everyone is just a little bit nervous, freshmen through seniors, even teachers. Coming from the chorus room, though, there’s laughter. Some friends and I walk into the room, ready and excited. “24 hours,” our teacher said. “24 hours,” he repeated, “until we have to perform this show.” Though none of us knew each other yet we all suddenly had a mutual understanding of what we had to do. Our class time for the term would total 24 hours, and that was all the time we’d have to produce our show, “Legally Blonde.”
We got straight to auditions, and they were the most supportive auditions you have ever seen! I was scared. Actually, I was petrified. I had sung in front of my close friends and family, and that was intimidating. But in front of all these people I didn’t know? That seemed unfathomable. We did it though - we all sang for each other. Everyone clapped, encouraged and cheered. It was such a rewarding experience, and my confidence began to grow.
Two months later
I sit in that same chorus room, now a room full of familiar faces. My best friends are in that room with me. People I support, people who support me, and teachers that support all of us. I have been cast as fitness queen Brooke Wyndham, and I learn for the first time that I might be above average at singing. I found a passion for it, making time to practice and learn. Through this class, I meet a woman who played Glinda in “Wicked” on Broadway. I decide to audition for the winter musical, “Les Miserables.” I am welcomed into this theater community with open arms and it quickly becomes my second home.
Students working with actress Erika Mcleod, who starred as Glinda in the Broadway production of “Wicked.”
Two years later
I have participated in five Peddie shows so far, but none of them compared to the Freshman Musical. The support, camaraderie and friendships shared were like no other. The people in Freshman Musical are still some of my best friends, and I know that memories from it will forever be cherished between us. I will forever be happy that I joined thirty-two other freshmen and took the chance on this course.